Silvia De La Sota is a restaurateur on a mission. As owner of Aguacate Verde in Somerville (the former spot of Tacos Lupita), this nutrition enthusiast-turned-chef serves what she calls healthy Mexican, Salvadoran, and Peruvian dishes. Salsa music greets neighborhood regulars who enter the brightly painted restaurant. Most approach the counter for take-out. While tacos ($2.70-$2.85) and burritos ($5.35-$6.25) appear to be popular choices, we hope customers don’t overlook the huaraches, mulitas, and gorditas — variations of handmade corn tortillas filled with lean grilled steak, chicken, or pork along with beans (made without lard, the menu assures) and fresh veggies. Don’t miss out on the Salvadoran pupusas ($2.50), griddled fresh corn masa cakes stuffed with cheese, pork, or beans and served with curtido, a tangy cabbage slaw. Tortas ($6.50-$7) feature Mexican-style telera bread piled high with grilled meats (or no meat), beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and silky avocado.
De La Sota will ask if you would like pickled jalapenos in your sandwich. The answer is definitely yes. Aguacate Verde, 13 Elm St., Somerville, 617-666-0677, www.aguacate
verderestaurant.com. ELLEN BHANG